Are your child’s doctors or pediatric specialists exceptional?

That’s what we asked our readers.

One NJ mom, LaurieAnn from Stanton, shared this with us: When her daughter Hayley was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last February at the age of 12, her doctor knew that beyond discussing treatments and surgeries, it was important to talk about the future.

Like many children, Hayley is highly attuned to stress or negativity in any room. Her pediatrician, who had always been a positive influence in Hayley’s life, knew this and immediately began to have Hayley think about and plan for all the things she’d do when she got well.

She also realized that Hayley wanted to be a part of conversations regarding her prognosis and included Hayley in discussions. She made Hayley feel that she was doing a great job being positive throughout the course of numerous treatments and always focused on the ultimate goal of Hayley getting on with her life. LaurieAnn says that this pediatrician’s personality, as well as the tremendous amount of knowledge she brought to the table, has been an integral part of Hayley’s healing.

Hayley felt immediately comfortable upon being introduced to the man who would become her neuro-oncologist; she said she knew in an instant she’d be okay. Not only is he brilliant, LaurieAnn says, his kind and gentle nature got Hayley through the near year-long battle in the hospital. He always told Hayley that he looked forward to her smile each day during his rounds and that he always made it a point to visit her room last so he could go home with a smile on his own face. He even told Hayley that he wished that he could bottle her positivity and enthusiasm and give it out.

Giving credit where it's due —>


LaurieAnn credits both the pediatrician and neuro-oncologist as working together to save her life. Today, more than one year later, Hayley’s MRI results show a healthy body.

As Hayley was finishing up treatment, the neuro-oncologist asked for a picture of her so he could put it on his wall in his office. Says Hayley’s mom, “His advice and guidance as well as his amazing knowledge in the area of neuro-oncology has been such a source of strength for our whole family.”

Haley's wasn't the only inspirational story like we uncovered in this year’s nominations for New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Docs. Parents and guardians are more than willing to share accounts of exceptional service provided by their children’s health-care providers. And that’s the point of this annual list, introduced four years ago. It includes recommendations for stellar doctors from moms and dads like you, for you.

From three words—“simply the best” and “Best Doctor Ever!”—to mini-novellas, we were swimming in positive words. It’s a testament to the level of commitment exhibited in the healthcare professionals in our state. They are truly masters of their fields and care about their patients.

The term "bedside manner" and more —>


Common themes included excellent diagnostic skills, of course, but also friendly, warm styles; the term “bedside manner” was used no less than 40 times. No parent wants to feel like they’re “in a factory, getting pushed through the medical mill” and the majority of nominees were cited for always taking the time to explain and listen and answer every question. We all appreciate the doctor whose office “does not feel like a revolving door” and, of course, a friendly, fabulous staff goes a long way, too.

In at least three testimonials, the words “magic touch” were employed. From doctors who take off their lab coats before introducing themselves to those that are, quite simply, “real and tell it like it is,” to those who employ the use of “magic stethoscopes” and make animal sounds to relax nervous kids, you’ll find the doctor you need right here in New Jersey. Some parents mentioned traveling 40 minutes to reach their chosen pro; some even cited traveling to NJ from out of state. And more than a few of the doctors cited here are professed to have become friends of the family.

Throughout the 2,191 nominations we received, we read the words “one of a kind” over and over. Fortunately, this is not true; there is a special something shared by all the doctors on our list. There are numerous one-of-a-kinds in all corners of the state and myriad grateful parents represented in our list.

See if the doctor you adore is included. If not, make sure to NOMINATE HER FOR OUR 2013 LIST.

New Jersey Family's Word-of-mouth referrals

  • The professionals on our list have all been nominated as “exceptional” by NJ moms and dads who voted on our website, from Dec. 2011–June 2012.
  • The list is organized by specialty, in categories from A to Z. A name in boldface indicates that the physician is highlighted in a linked profile.
  • A professional’s inclusion in NJ’s Favorite Kids’ Docs 2012 does not imply endorsement by New Jersey Family; it is a parent-to-parent-referral resource only.